Delphi Will Burn

According to a piece at ABC, plans are afoot to burn a bunch of the pine trees around Delphi — back in 1936, some 6500 pines were planted at the site. The idea is to try to avoid what happened at Olympia a couple of years ago.

… sounds like a bit of foresight.

Spring Awakening

First Fascinating Aida (see below) and now a review of Spring Awakening in the Independent. While most of the description would probably bring hits to rc for all the wrong reasons, I can’t help but wonder about this:

Kevin Adams’s outstanding lighting is a constellation of bare lightbulbs – now the heavens, now the class room (where Sater’s one made-up scene achieves the impossible task of building a chorus number into a rock chant of Virgil’s Aeneid in the original language) – carried through to the auditorium in a riot of neon strips all round the Lyric’s venerable Frank Matcham interior decoration.

… someone has to find a video of that (the Aeneid thing, obviously) …

Anna Perenna

Here’s one from L’espresso which goes beyond brief mention and hopefully we’ll read about this one in the English press (because we should! I was unaware of all this for some reason) … back in 1999 at Monti Parioli archaeologists found a pile of artifacts in a fountain dedicated to Anna Perenna dating from the second century A.D. (possibly earlier). What’s especially interesting for our purposes is that they found 22 defixiones, 14 other sheets of lead, and a pile of containers with anthopomorphic wax figures in them, obviously for black/sympathetic magic purposes. A pile of coins was also found. What the article seems to be primarily doing is advertising a conference focussing on all that … but it sure sounds interesting!

Turns out there’s some good stuff on the web too, e.g.,:

Fascinating Aida?

A music/performance review from the Times was snagged by one of the spiders … check this paragraph out:

They have pared the show to two costume changes a night. A blend of subtlety and showmanship, strong opinions and sharp wit, erudition and free-for-all, Fascinating Aïda’s new songs are full of what they call “twisted zaniness” in the best British tradition. A short list includes It Isn’t Too Late to Be Famous, which has impeccably rhymed references to every star to grace Heat magazine (“Always smiley, just like Kylie; I’m gonna be famous”). There’s My Parents (“Mama, don’t spend my inheritance!”) and the rollicking tent revivalist song with a snake-handling Adèle, Tesco Saves (“Jesus saves but Tesco saves you more”). And there’s the audience favourite, Lieder (aka The German Song), in which they perform Bob Fosse jazz dance routines while singing deadpan about the ability of a German accent to cover a multitude of singing sins. Can’t forget those Bulgarian songs, either, with their nod to Thucydides and Boris Johnson…

I don’t have time to work my way through their stuff on Youtube (I wonder what they say about Boris and Thuc), but you might want to check it out … I thought this form of comedy had died out, but they do it well …

Denmark v Italy

The Copenhagen Post relates what appears to be the next repatriation case … here’s the salient bit:

The issue first came to light in 2006 when Italy requested the return of six Etruscan pieces from the museum in connection with an international operation against an illegal art dealing syndicate. But for more than two years the museum and the Danish culture ministry gave various reasons for not co-operating in the investigation.

In December 2008, the Italians presented a list of 100 artefacts that they believed were acquired illegally and wanted returned. The Glyptoteket management refused to oblige, stating that many of the objects on the list were purchased legally after the former administrators, who are suspected of purchasing the alleged illegal artefacts, left their positions at the museum.

… but here’s the clincher:

Many of the illegal artefacts purchased by Glyptoteket during the 1970s were from art dealers Robert Hecht and Giacomo Medici. Medici was found guilty of dealing in stolen goods in Italy in 2004, while the case against Hecht is still ongoing.